Jen’s been telling me of a supposedly fantastic cafe on Smith Street that serves excellent breakfast and lunches, Cafe Beelzebub. While that description could apply to any random cafe on Smith Street, Jen’s insistence that this particular cafe served THE best coffee on Smith Street was what sold me into going there on Saturday for a late lunch with Adam.
Despite the fact that we arrived at 2:30pm, pretty much all the tables were full – a good sign. After numerous unsuccessul attempts at flagging down the lone waitress for the menu, we gave up and collected them ourselves from the large pile on the bar. The menu itself was divided up into breakfast items (served all day, and nothing that the other cafes on this street couldn’t do) and lunch items, which consisted primarily of burger and focaccias. The lunch menu, in particular, seemed to draw inspiration from South American and Spanish cuisines as every second item had a Hispanic-sounding name and items such as guacamole, mayonesa and chorizos were dominant.
I started off with a cafe latte ($3) which took 10 minutes to make, way too long a wait. Luckily for them, the coffee was beautifully silky with sweet vanilla notes in every mouthful. Best coffee on Smith St? I may have only been to a few coffee-serving eateries on Smith St so I can’t really give a definitive answer but for now the answer is ‘yes.’
Adam’s fabes burger ($15) was pretty much a burger with the lot. The buger was not too different from a typical Grill’d burger – freshly toasted white bread bun with a healthy slab of beef pattie, tomatoes, lettuce, egg, cheese, bacon and onions. On the side was a mountain of shoestring fries and tomato sauce. Adam loved it but I thought it was pretty average.
My completo ($12), a traditional Chilean hot dog, sounded pretty interesting on paper. Unfortunately, I was a little underwhelmed with my meal. The salad (with a balsamic dressing) was nothing out of the ordinary but I was expecting a little more from the completo. They were a tad stingy with the chorizo and diced tomatoes but very liberal with the mashed avocado, which not only made my bun soggy but also bogged down the flavours of the other ingredients. Even with what little chorizo I had, less avocado would have made my completo more enjoyable to eat.
It could have been the food we ordered, it could be because I may have held such high expectations, it could have been an off day for the staff (after all, it was the day after New Year’s Day) – whatever it was, it made me wish that I had spent the afternoon at the nearby Cafe Bebida. Beelzebub’s food was nothing special and their service was slow (our food took about 30 minutes to arrive) – those reasons alone were enough to make me not want to return… but damn, they did make a good coffee.